A Flower-Filled Farmhouse Wedding on a Hilltop in Umbria, Italy
When Madison Labadie and Jameson Shaffer began planning their wedding in July 2018, they had a simple concept in mind. "Our vision for the wedding was definitely an easy, naturally beautiful, and intimate ceremony where we could spend most of our time enjoying each other and time with our loved ones," the couple explains. They chose to invite 48 of their closest friends and family for a week-long vacation in Italy that culminated with a ceremony and reception at Casali Colle San Paolo in Umbria on June 15, 2019. "I had traveled to Italy before and knew it was the perfect place to have our wedding," says Madison.
At the venue, three different farmhouses offered a variety of locations for the couple to get ready, pose for portraits, host their ceremony, and dine under the stars, while the history of the property and the itinerary of events for the week added to the guests' experience. Madison and Jameson worked hard to make sure all of the family and friends who traveled to celebrate with them felt included, and also kept their focus on the long-term.
"Don't forget to enjoy all of the moments during your engagement and your busy big day," says the couple. "Your wedding-planning process, engagement, and wedding is about celebrating your marriage, not just your wedding day, so be present, enjoy it, and make lasting memories."
An Elegant Invite
The couple chose a combination of calligraphy and all-caps text for "a very elegant, yet antique look" on invitations designed by True North Paper Co and printed on handmade paper from Idyll Paper. A custom crest, which was comprised of the couple's initials nestled in a pair of olive branches, and a hand-drawn map of Italy gave guests a sense of the locale. Mauve envelopes and a rose gold wax seal displaying an olive leaf hinted at the color palette and floral motif of the celebration to come.
Love at First Sight
The minute Madison tried on her Enaura Bridal Couture wedding dress, with its handmade Italian beading, deep neckline, and dramatic train, she was sold. "I knew it was the right one when I put it on, because I did not want to take it off," she says. "And I had completely forgotten all of the dresses I had tried on before." She added a belt and veil from the same designer, and secured a silver-and-pearl olive leaf hairpiece in her long waves.
Shimmer and Shine
Madison added extra sparkle to her wedding day look with glittering Jimmy Choo heels and a set of diamond jewelry—earrings, a bracelet, and a necklace—that belonged to her grandmother.
The Morning Of
Madison and her bridesmaids spent the morning of the wedding getting ready at the venue, where one of her sisters perfected the bride's makeup on a balcony. "Getting ready with my sisters and best friends is still one of my favorite memories," says Madison. "They made the morning exciting, comforting, and special."
Madison requested "an organic, earthy, yet traditional" bouquet from Puscina Flowers, who delivered an asymmetrical bunch of ivory-and-mauve blooms. "Puscina has their own flower farm and they use everything they grow," says Madison. "Puscina is a dream to work with, so creative, and [they] deliver the most interesting, stylish, and local flowers."
Pretty in Pink
Madison's two sisters, the maid and matron of honor, chose pink silk dresses from Ralph Lauren for their wedding attire; the rest of the women in her bridal party donned gowns of pale pink tulle that she chose and sent to them.
The men wore small collections of off-white blooms, green berries, and variegated leaves. "Puscina does a wonderful job with boutonnières, always adding a botanical component," says Madison. "They were composed of smaller soft cream roses, with herbs and foliage."
Their First Look
Before the ceremony, Madison and Jameson met in a courtyard garden at a nearby hotel. "I felt excited," says the bride. "I don't remember a time that I was nervous, just excited about the day and ready to see Jameson. After the first look we had a meal together, and it was a time for us to slow down and reconnect before our ceremony."
Boys in Blue
As ring bearer, Madison's nephew wore a blue suit to match the men in the bridal party—but swapped in a bow tie instead of a longer tie (which the rest of the men wore). "During the whole week of the wedding, my sister said he couldn't stop asking questions about his trip down the aisle because he was so nervous and excited," says Madison. "He walked down the aisle with a smile the whole time and was the most adorable part of the ceremony."
A Perfect Party
Jameson and the groomsmen wore fitted navy blue suits from Banana Republic and accessorized with pale pink ties and Italian oxford shoes. The groom also donned one very special accessory: a watch Madison gave him during the first Christmas they spent together.
Up in the Air
The couple chose to hold their ceremony outside Casali Colle San Paolo's Fontanelle farmhouse, on a hill "overlooking gorgeous Umbria and covered in fresh lavender, cherry trees, olive trees, and June blooms," says the bride. Rattan chairs created an organic, countryside look, while a custom arbor draped with local roses and greenery added a lush touch. "It was a very hot summer day," says the couple, "so they had someone misting the flowers for hours before the ceremony."
Madison asked both her father and stepfather to walk her down the aisle, while a harpist and string trio accompanied a family friend singing "Ave Maria."
Saying "I Do"
A friend of the couple officiated the ceremony, which the duo personalized with a custom script. "We did not write our own vows," says Madison. "We mixed our ceremony with classic and non-classic vows and quotes to make it unique to us."
After the ceremony, the couple asked many of their guests to stay for portraits. "It was important to get a lot of family photos as the majority of the 48 guests were close family or friends," explains Madison. Pink Prosecco kept guests cool as they waited for their turn in front of the camera, and afterward, everyone traveled to the reception site where a full bar, an antipasto display, and array of small bites awaited (alongside cocktail napkins showing off the couple's crest). "Limonata and vodka was a popular choice for the warm summer evening," says the couple of their signature drink.
Under the Lights
Madison and Jameson chose the pale pink Poderaccio House as the backdrop for their al fresco dinner reception. "I loved walking down from the ceremony to the reception area," says Madison. "We had not seen the reception area with all of our flowers, candles, and other special touches that our wedding planner put together. It was a surprise to see, and so beautiful."
Antique buckets filled with flowers in bright shades of pink and purple offered a backdrop for the couple's escort cards.
Each card was calligraphed onto handmade paper that matched the invitation; the notes were tucked into rose gold holders.
At the Table
Guests sat at two long tables covered in olive green linens and loose white runners. Rattan chargers matched the the armchairs, while velvet napkins and olive wood bowls—each with a single fresh flower—added rich texture to the place settings. Taper candles and centerpieces were placed in low vessels down the length of the table. "Each arrangement [was] unique and composed on site to preserve and protect the flowers in the summer sun," says Madison.
For dinner, Madison and Jameson requested a detailed menu from chef Eros Mariotti. "What didn't we have? It was an Italian feast that lasted for almost three hours," they say. The menu included risotto with lime and asparagus, rigatoni cacio e pepe, spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce and bacon, and pork loin with potato and truffle—followed by wedding cake, profiteroles, and fruit salad. Mariotti also deviated from the Italian tradition of millefoglie as a wedding dessert to provide an "American wedding cake" at Madison's request. "We didn't specify [a flavor]—it was a white cake with a cream filling. Whatever it was, it was delicious," says the couple. "One thing you learn planning weddings in Italy is it's safe to trust in the catering—the food is always amazing!"
Photography, Sposto Photography
Venue, Casali di Colle San Paolo, Umbria
Event Planning, Polished Fun
Catering and Cake, Eros Mariotti
Flowers, Puscina Flowers
Videography, Innar Hunt Films
Stationery, Idyll Paper (paper); True North Paper Co. (printing)
Calligraphy, Keenan Zellar Design
Music, Maria Chiara Fiorucciz (ceremony)
Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linen Rental; Preludio Noleggio
Bride's Gown, Enaura Bridal Couture
Bride's Accessories, Enaura Bridal Couture veil; Jimmy Choo shoes
Hair, Beauty Graziani
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Ralph Lauren
Menswear, Banana Republic
Lighting, Tosti Noleggi
Engagement Ring, Melanie Casey
Wax Seals, Artisaire
Wedding Bands, Moody's Jewelry Tulsa